Indigenous Teaching and Learning Resources

About Indigenous Teaching and Learning Resources

Western is committed to increasing Indigenous voices and presence across all levels of work, study and research.

To find out about Indigenous Initiatives at Western and other resources, please visit:

 

 

Indigenous Teaching and Learning Series

This unique online education series is geared toward university instructors with the goal to increase their understanding of the colonial roots of the academy, the movement to transform universities to be more inclusive of Indigenous peoplesand to inspire them to move toward decolonizing their pedagogies.

Introduction to the Indigenous Teaching & Learning Series

Module 1 – Decolonize the Academy

In this video, learners will be introduced to the colonial roots of the Westernized university with a particular focus on its systemic allegiance to Euro-Western ways of knowing. In the context of increasing reconciliation discourses in Canada, learners will be exposed to the structural ways that settler colonialism has shaped the university system, its disciplines and teaching practices with the goal to inspire instructors to attend to academic colonialism in their disciplines, and more proactively include Indigenous perspectives across the curriculum.

Please note: This module will take approx. 35 min., plus reading and reflection work.


Module 2 – Toward a Decolonizing Pedagogy

In this video, learners will be introduced to specific ways that colonialism shapes higher education and curriculum at various levels. The module will offer Indigenous perspectives on decolonial change and introduce instructors to a four guiding principles that can help them start to move toward decolonizing their pedagogies by: increasing decolonial consciousness; reflecting on complex positionalities; engaging critical and relational pedagogies; and taking responsibility for ongoing lifelong (un)learning.

Please note: This module will take approx. 40 min., plus reading and reflection work.


About the Module Developer and Acknowledgements

Candace Brunette-Debassige is a Mushkego Cree iskwew from Peetabeck (Treaty 9 Territory) with Cree and French ancestry. Brunette-Debassige is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Western University located on lands of the Anishnabek, Haudenoshaunee and Lenapewuk Peoples in London Ontario Canada. Currently, Brunette-Debassige serves as a university-wide Teaching Fellow in Indigenous Learning at Western. Her scholarly work and professional practices center on advancing the liberatory struggles of Indigenous Peoples in educational settings. Her current research agenda is located in the areas of Indigenous and decolonial approaches to curriculum, educational change, leadership and policy. Her scholarly work embodies a deep commitment to advancing Indigenous theorizing, Indigenous methodologies in research, and Indigenous pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning.

Acknowledgements

These first two modules were developed by teaching fellow, Candace Brunette-Debassige. This project was supported by Western University’s Provost Office, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and the Centre for Teaching and Learning with some funding provided by a Commonwealth Peace and Reconciliation Challenge Grant from the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

The Teaching and Learning Series (Modules 1 and 2) is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license, except where otherwise noted.

Recommended citations for videos and guide:

Brunette-Debassige, C. (2022). Decolonizing the Academy Module 1. In The Teaching in Learning Series [Digital Curriculum Module]. Western University.

Brunette-Debassige, C. (2022). Toward Decolonizing your Pedagogy Module 2. In The Teaching in Learning Series [Digital Curriculum Module]. Western University.

Recommended citation for the digital design:

Brunette-Debassige, C & Pichette, H. (Urban Iskwew). (2022). Academic tower on Indigenous lands.

Indigenous Learning Bundles

Maatookiiying gaa-miinigoowiziying, or Sharing Our Gifts, is a formal Indigenous curriculum initiative at Western University led by Candace Brunette-Debassige, Teaching Fellow, that aims to collaboratively advance the respectful inclusion of Indigenous ways of knowing in the university classroom. The vision of the project is inspired by similar work completed at Carleton University with Kahente Horn-Miller.

 

Hosted in partnership with the OII, Western Libraries, and CTL as part of the Indigenous Teaching Fellow series. Learn more about the Indigenous Learning Bundles:

Guides

Guide for Working with Indigenous Students

Cover of Guide for Working with Indigenous Students

Following the release of the 94 Calls to Action by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC, 2015), Western University approved its first-ever Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP), a document that aims to facilitate a more inclusive and welcoming campus for Indigenous students, faculty, and staff, as well as Indigenous ways of knowing and learning. This Guide is a response to Western’s ISP plan, which clearly outlines the need for faculty and staff to become more culturally-competent when working with Indigenous peoples. This introductory resource will support individuals on campus in better understanding the historical and ongoing systemic factors that shape Indigenous student realities, barriers, and needs in the university context.

The Guide includes an overview of local Indigenous peoples and histories, treaties, land acknowledgements, and terminology; the complexities of Indigeneity; and key barriers and challenges many Indigenous students face in obtaining their education. Most importantly, the Guide challenges the university and its faculty and staff to take responsibility by actively shifting the culture on-campus rather than expecting Indigenous students to acculturate into the dominant university setting. By shifting the narrative, we hope to inspire transformative approaches to Indigenous education that work with Indigenous peoples and ways of knowing in more equitable ways.

This Guide, led by Candace Brunette-Debassige (Faculty of Education) and Chantelle Richmond (Faculty of Social Science), was made possible through the collaborative vision, effort, and support of Western University’s Interdisciplinary Development Initiative (IDI) in Applied Indigenous Scholarship.  Western’s Indigenous Postsecondary Education Council (IPEC) members and other community partners provided valuable input to the development of this Guide.

More information: Applied Indigenous Scholarship

Land Acknowledgments Guides

Cover of Indigenous Land Acknowledgment Guide

The Western community also has access to the Indigenous Land Acknowledgments Guide created by the Western Indigenous Initiatives team. This resource includes three versions of Indigenous Land Acknowledgements and offers insight into how the acknowledgements can reflect a deeper commitment to building relationships with Indigenous communities.

"Why do we do land acknowledgements? The Land Acknowledgement pays respect to the Original Peoples of the territory upon which the university is physically located, as well as recognizes the ongoing presence of Indigenous Peoples in educational settings. It is one way we declare the university’s commitment to building on its relationships with and responsibilities to Indigenous communities."

Learning Opportunities

For more information on Indigenizing and decolonizing curriculum, please visit the Office of Indigenous Initiatives Learning & Development webpage.

Past Info Sessions & Workshops

Moving Toward Decolonizing Your Teaching

Wednesday August 31st from 11:00AM to 12:00PM

Candace Brunette-Debassige (Assistant Professor, Education and Teaching Fellow, CTL)

About the presentation (August 31, 2022):

Amidst increasing to calls to decolonize and Indigenize the academy, university programs and instructors are being called to include more Indigenous and decolonial perspectives into the curriculum. Decolonization however is both a theory and a methodological praxis in research and teaching. As part of ongoing Indigenous curriculum change work underway at Western, this session will introduce instructors to two new online modules as part of a unique Indigenous Teaching and Learning Series developed in partnership with Indigenous Teaching Fellow, Candace Brunette-Debassige and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives’ Sara Mai Chitty. The first two online modules launched as part of this series are geared toward university instructors with the goal to increase their understandings of the colonial roots of the academy and knowledge, and inspire and assist them in moving themselves toward decolonizing their pedagogies.

Please note: This presentation was presented at the annual Fall Perspectives on Teaching Conference.

Sharing Our Gifts: An Indigenous-led curriculum response at Western University

Wednesday June 22nd from 12:00PM to 1:30PM

Candace Brunette-Debassige (Assistant Professor, Education and Teaching Fellow, CTL)

Sharing our gifts

About the talk and project:

This session introduced participants to a new Indigenous curriculum project available at Western University and Affiliates entitled; Maatookiiying gaa-miinigoowiziying, or Sharing Our Gifts led by teaching fellow and scholar, Candace Brunette-Debassige in collaboration with the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and Centre for Teaching and Learning. This unique project aims to collaboratively advance the respectful and ethical inclusion of Indigenous ways of knowing in the university classroom through the creation of a digital repository of Indigenous resources available for use by Western University and Affiliate instructors across disciplines. The session provided background on the vision and purpose of the project, share snippets of digital offerings available in 2022-23, and outlined processes for instructors to engage in the project over the next year.


Please email indigenousbundles@uwo.ca for more information.

Local Contexts: Supporting Indigenous Rights and Interests in Data and Collections

Presented by the Local Contexts team:
Dr. Janette Hamilton Pearce (Te Whānau-Ā-Āpanui, University of Waikato)
Felicia Garcia (Samala Chumash, New York University)
Corrie Roe (New York University)

About the panel presentation (May 10, 2022):

Local Contexts offers a robust decolonial information system of labeling as digital markers to intervene in the structural colonial legacy of Indigenous erasure. The Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Biocultural (BC) Labels and Notices work to enhance and legitimize locally based decision-making and Indigenous governance frameworks for determining ownership, access, and culturally appropriate conditions for sharing historical, contemporary, and future collections of cultural heritage and Indigenous data. This presentation provides an introduction to the Local Contexts initiative and demonstration of the newly launched Local Contexts Hub. The Local Contexts team will explore the Traditional Knowledge and Biocultural Labels and Notices

Resources from this panel can be accessed here.